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Some days I don’t mind grocery shopping

I had to go grocery shopping yesterday, we were (almost) out of coffee! OMG! I really hadn’t planned to go until next week. However, the lack of coffee (other than flavored coffees) made making the trip a must do.

I normally hate grocery shopping, especially shopping alone. I called G to see if she wanted to go along, but she was visiting her brother.

Of course there’s always a list to fill, and I did fill it.

But the young guy who checked me out made my day. He was such a sweetheart. He saw me start to get into the line next to him and he called me over, what I didn’t see is his line was empty. Hooray, a quick check out. And this young man turned out to be a brilliant bagger, not one of my bags weighed a ton.

HPIM4532What do you mean there is no coffee?

Lost in a book

I finally surfaced from the depths of my book only to realize that midnight had passed by a while ago. Caught up in magic, dragons, dwarfs, magicians, unicorns and such, I lost track of time and place.

Found a good one in this freebie Kindle book, actually two books so far in this series. You can find the first one here but it is no longer a freebie.

I’m on book two of the series.

You all have a good one. I’m diving back in.

what makes your soul happy

RIP Valerie Malmont

Valerie Malmont died yesterday. She befriended me at the very first Pennwriters Conference I attended. When she did book signings anywhere near me, I made sure to stop in and see her. If I didn’t have the book she had out that day, I’d buy it and she’d sign it for me.

I have all her books. You can find them here:

I love you Valerie and I will miss you dear friend. I am very sad today. The world is dimmer since this lovely bright light went out.

102_0767Valerie made a lovely Princess Ozma at the costume ball Pennwriters 2008

That’s me next to her dressed as one of my favorite books “The Last Camel Died At Noon”

102_0765There’s the camel made by my friend Elena

Malcolm’s Mayhem, life with a Bull Terrier


     It’s time to re-blog this:

     A friend once asked me, “Why in the world would anyone have a Bull Terrier?”  This she’d inquired while observing me take evasive action to protect myself from doggy damage.  Her face showed she could tell this was a common occurrence and that she found it a tad unnerving. 

     My Bull Terrier, Malcolm, took another shot at disaster before I answered.  He held a large bone, poised in his mouth like a baseball bat, and barely missed taking out my shin.  I unconsciously stepped out-of-the-way of sixty-five pounds of armed, muscled freight train on a ‘bully run’.

     “Hey, Bull Terriers may be a bit bizarre, but we’re kindred spirits.”

     She emphatically nodded in agreement.  “Yes, you’re two of a kind.”

     “Besides, life would be dull without Malcolm’s antics and wit,” I added.

     She shook her head.  “I couldn’t do it.”

     I could tell she thought it was only a matter of time before the men in the white coats came to take me away, and that she was glad to be standing outside of my fenced yard. 

     I felt it was important to show her that Malcolm wasn’t so bad, so I called him  to me.  Of course, he decided at that moment to go selectively deaf.  About the third call, he raced over and sat at my side looking angelic. 

     Malcolm is obedience trained, and I began to put him through his paces off lead.

     “Heel.”  He did a perfect job.  “Stand.”  Again, he was flawless.  I even added some of his tricks to the demonstration. 

     “Now, give me your paw,” I told him.

     He sat and held his paw up for me to shake.

     “Bang.”  He dropped to the ground, rolled over on his back, and played dead.  “Sit.  Stay.”  He jumped to his feet, then sat and remained motionless.

     My friend watched with great interest and surprise, exclaiming, “But only a minute ago he was crazy.” 

     I told her, “no, just being silly and blowing off steam.” 

     After a short down, I released him and he went tearing around the yard again.  My friend felt less sure of my ‘insanity’ until I had to sidestep a four-foot long stick Malcolm had found in the hedge.  Then I tripped over the tennis ball he’d strategically placed behind me and landed neatly on my backside.

     “Booby-trapped,” I muttered.

     “I’ll visit you in the hospital.”

     She never was a dog person.

Silly boy Malcolm

Superbowl? Nope. Books!

     Nope, I didn’t watch the football game.  I read two books.  When I get the chance to read without The Curmudgeon yapping at me I can actually zip through two books in a day.

     Getting that opportunity is a rare thing.  I take full advantage of it when I do get it.

     One large paperback and a heavy-duty hard cover book later, I am a happy camper.

Library room

Fairy tale again, again….


     She heard her younger sister’s voice but her eyes refused to open. 

     “Mavelle?  Mavelle, it’s me Lovena.”

     “Oh, for pity’s sake.  Quit it.  I’m sick of hearing you calling her name.”

     That voice could only be Sarah’s, Mavelle thought as she tried to move.  A sharp pain sliced through her side.  She moaned and opened her eyes only to have them stabbed with a bright light.  She slammed them shut.

     A cold cloth, covered her eyes and a gentle hand smoothed her hair.  “You’re alive, dear sister.  Rest now.”

     Mavelle drifted off to sleep.

     The voice grated through her veil of sleep like a farrier’s rasp.  “We’ll never get out of here.  She was our last hope.”

     “Shut up, Sarah.”  Mavelle sat up.  “I wasn’t out there alone.  I had help.”  If Cragger and McDougal are still alive, that is.  She didn’t dare voice that aloud.

     Lovena ran to her side.  “Are you okay?”

     “I’ll live.”

     “Not for long if our rocky friend has anything to say about it,” said Sarah.

     “Always the pessimist.”  Mavelle tipped an imaginary hat to Sarah.  “Lovena, what do we have?”

     “I’ve made three slingshots exactly the way you taught me to do.  Even though Sarah had no petticoats to spare for the job, I managed by using all of mine and part of yours.  We have a fire pit and every scrap of wood I could find I stacked near it.  I couldn’t get one started.  I hope you have more skill.  There’s no food, but we have water.”

More fairy tale

     With the dawn’s light, they both awakened.  McDougal stretched and led his mistress outside to a nearby stream to drink and for her to wash.  Cragger stoked the fire and readied a meal.  It would seem to an outsider that they had done this forever they looked so comfortable with the routine. 

     McDougal surprised them by catching three trout.  He would pounce in the stream, his head disappearing under the water, and reappearing with a trout in his jaws that he would drop on the bank next to his mistress’s feet.  She promptly set to cleaning the fish using a small blade that Cragger gave her to replace the crystal one he now had in his keeping.

     Cragger had oats boiling over the fire and raised an eyebrow at their fortunate addition to their breakfast.  “You caught these?”  He asked as he took them from Mavelle’s hands to cook.

     “Not me, McDougal.”  She laughed when Cragger turned to stare at the dog who sat nearby wagging his tail.

     “Handy creature, this giant of a hound.”

     “You have no idea how handy he is.  This one was trained for war from birth with the rest of his litter.  Unfortunately, for my father’s trainer, McDougal prefers to be with me.”  She threw her arms around the dog’s neck.  “He’s my baby.”

Genre fiction, what is your favorite?

     Lately, I’ve been reading a variety of genres.  I am still not fond of Romances, I find that life is never what you wish for, it has rough patches, and romance is seldom anything like one reads in books. 

     I am enjoying some of the new fantasies out there and, of course, most mysteries.  I’ve never liked spy/espionage books.  Don’t know why, but neither the books nor the films intrigue me in the least.  Tried to read a couple, and still don’t like them.

     Not a big fan of hard sci-fi either.  I can’t help it, it’s how I am.

     Now it’s your turn, what do like to read?

Another installment of the fairy tale

     “Ah, my tale.  It is a tale of danger, heroism, and cowardice and I hope it ends here in these ruins.”  There he paused and seemed to wait for her to comment.

      “Ends here?  How?  Why?”

     “Let me start at the beginning.  Many long ago and far aways, my great, great, great, ever so great-grandfather ran afoul a stone troll.  The very one I have tracked to these ruins.”

     “But, Sir Cragger, I am after the very same troll, he holds my sisters prisoner.”

     “Then it must be by the fates that I was drawn here.  Let me continue my tale and we shall see if it is so.  Grandfather was deep in the family mine digging for gems as we do when he opened a new cavern with the strike of a hammer.  He had no idea there was one behind the wall he’d been hammering on for a lifetime.”  Cragger reached for his pack and drew out a wine skin.  He offered it to Mavelle but she shook her head.

     “No thank you.  Please go on.”

     Cragger drank deep, wiped his mouth on his sleeve, belched, begged her pardon, and continued.  “Grandfather began to mine the new tunnel finding better jewels there than we’d found for centuries in the old mines.  At the end of the shift, he came out of the mine with more quality jewels than our family had seen in a century.  A family council met and the Elders decided to have everyone mine that tunnel.  No one suspected the danger and horror that lurked deep within.”

The tale continues…

     “Hey the tower.”  A voice broke the silence.

     “Who are you?”  Mavelle dug the dagger from under her cloak with her free hand.

     “Name’s Cragger.  I’m a peddler of sorts.  I was looking for shelter when I smelled your smoke.”

     “Come to where I can see you.”  She threw some wood on her dying fire.

     A very small of stature man stepped in front of the cave entrance.  “Are you a Dunningham dwarf?”  She asked.

     Cragger bowed, sweeping his arm out wide.  “One and the same, peddler by trade, I am.”

     “Isn’t that unusual for a mining race?”

     “A bit, but the miners need supplies and trinkets.  My line is a long line of peddlers back thirty-two generations.  If I may come close to your warm fire I will tell you our story.”

     Mavelle gasped.  “My manners, where are my manners?  Certainly Cragger, come warm yourself, and welcome.

     The dwarf entered the narrow cavern and sat near the fire.  “Thank you, after I came across a pack of wolves tearing into those bodies I was afraid to stay in the open.  What do I call you, young lady?”

     Mavelle found it odd that any man would admit a fear but liked that he had.  She warmed to the man.  “Mavelle, call me Mavelle, please.”  With a tentative smile she asked, “What is the story you would tell me?”

The serial fairy tale…

     “Get back here!”  Sarah screamed at the fleeing soldier. 

     The next thing that happened made Mavelle drop the crystal knife, cover her eyes and wish she had four hands so she could cover her ears too.  The sounds were dreadful.  When she opened her eyes again, she could see Sarah held high above the ground in the three-fingered grip of a stone ogre.  The four soldiers’ bodies torn to bloody pieces and scattered about brought bile to her throat.  Mavelle trembled with dread.

     Sarah’s screams assured Mavelle that her sister still lived.  The Ogre lifted the stone floor, dropped Sarah in the hole beneath it, replaced the floor above Sarah, and stomped off in the opposite direction from Mavelle’s hiding place.

     “Oh, Goddesses.  What can I do to get them out of there?”  She gave a low whistle and within seconds, McDougal was by her side.  His hackles stood on end and he growled deep in his chest.

     “Easy boy.  He’s gone.”  She directed him toward the ruins.  “Find Lovena.  There has to be a way in.”

     They crawled over lichen covered granite and broken marble.  Searching for hours with no luck, she called a halt by the remains of a guard tower.  Within there she found a covered section, not unlike a cave, where they could camp for the night.

     Restless sleep came to her and along with it another vision of her sister Lovena.  This time the vision showed Sarah asleep and Lovena pacing.  “Sister, we know not what he wishes us for but he is vicious.  Hurry, I fear we haven’t long.

     The snap of a branch woke Mavelle with a start.  McDougal was on his feet and growling.  The wee hours of the morning brought with them, no light to see by, she peered into the darkest of dark.  Mavelle clung to McDougal’s collar to keep him close. 

     “Hey the tower.”  A voice broke the silence.

Once upon a time a long, long time ago…cont’d again

     Mavelle walked to the small window and tried to see in but the glass was thick and opaque.  The strange little window was in a low wall that swerved away from her at an angle and ended under a wide expanse of mangled stone flooring.

     “Not above, behind and not in front.  That makes no sense.”  Mavelle traced the edges of the walls all of them angled away in strange directions.  She picked up a thick branch and began to dig in the soil in front of the window, only to hit solid bedrock.

     McDougal began to growl a deep rumble in the body savage growl.  She stopped what she was doing and listened.  She heard voices and footsteps approaching from the far side of the ruins.  With a hand signal to McDougal for silence, she grabbed his collar, led him to a sheltered spot, and they hid.

     She heard her sister Sarah’s voice and almost broke cover.  That is until she heard what her sister had to say.  “No, you will kill her as I said.  My father will be heartbroken but will still give me the kingdom.  We will have riches and power.”

     Mavelle couldn’t hear the soldier’s reply but didn’t care.  She couldn’t allow her sister’s death.  She had to act fast.  If only I’d brought my bow, she thought.  She backed away from the ruins staying under cover and keeping an eye on where her older sister and the soldiers were.